KERSHAW, SC (WBTV) -
A middle school student had the moment of a lifetime after two football teams made a plot to have him score a very special touchdown.
It happened Thursday night in Kershaw when Andrew Jackson Middle School was taking on AR Rucker Middle School in gridiron action.
With three minutes left in the game, AR Rucker was up with a score of 42-0.
That’s when the ball was given to #3, Coleman Joyner.
His dad was a former high school football player, his mom was the head cheerleader.
Joyner ran… and ran… and ran. All the way into the end zone.
And there were cheers, from both teams, as he crossed into the end zone.
Coleman Joyner, 13, has Down Syndrome and this special play was run just for him. It was dubbed the “I – Coleman – Right.”
Coleman spent most of the season as the team’s equipment manager, never expecting to suit up.
“He got to wear his team jersey to school, that was a first,” mom Liz Joyner said.
The idea was cooked up before the game by Andrew Jackson Middle School head coach Robert Lambert. He discussed the plan with Rucker’s head coach Brett Blackmon, who agreed to the play.
“I said Coleman I need you to buckle down on your grades and if you do so, I have a surprise for you. The surprise is I’m going to let you play in the last football game,” Lambert said.
“I gave him his opportunity to show me what he could do and I believe in him that he can do it,” coach Lambert said.
If the touchdown wasn’t enough, Joyner had a part two to the play.
AJMS went for the two-point conversion after the play. Once again Joyner saw the inside of the end zone with the football.
Andrew Jackson lost the game, but people who were there say the only thing they’ll remember is Joyner’s big moment.
“For the boys and the coach to welcome him with open arms is so overflowing,” Liz Joyner said. “Never be afraid of a special needs child, because their heart is so big and they have so much love to offer.”
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